George Crespigny Brabazon Vivian, 4th Baron Vivian

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George Crespigny Brabazon Vivian

Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Hussey Cresigny Vivian, 3rd Baron Vivian and Louisa Alicia Vivian
Husband of Nancy Vivian
Ex-husband of Barbara, Baroness Vivian
Father of Hon. Ursula Vanda Maud Vivian.; Lieutenant-Commander Douglas Vivian; Daphne Winifred Louise Fielding and Anthony Vivian, 5th Baron Vivian
Brother of Dorothy Maud Haig and Alexandra Mary Freesia Vivian

Managed by: Brandon Alexander Vivian
Last Updated:

About George Crespigny Brabazon Vivian, 4th Baron Vivian

Described as a "fierce eccentric, with a bullying streak and a love of practical jokes".


George Crespigny Brabazon Vivian, 4th Lord Vivian, DSO TD (21 January 1878 — 28 December 1940) was a British soldier who served with distinction in both the Second Anglo-Boer War and World War I.

Early life

He was born at Connaught Place, London, on 21 January 1878 to Hussey Vivian, 3rd Baron Vivian and Louisa Duff.

He was educated at Eton College where he rowed in the VIII and was elected into Pop. He subsequently joined the British Army serving as a cavalry officer with considerable distinction in both the Second Anglo-Boer War and World War I.

Battle of Elands River

On 17 September 1901, Smuts' commando encountered the 17th Lancers in the vicinity of Tarkastad. Smuts realised that the Lancers' camp was their one opportunity to re-equip themselves with horses, food and clothing. A fierce fight, subsequently to be known as the Battle of Elands River took place with the Lancers being caught in a cross-fire and suffering heavy casualties. Stunned by the onslaught, the remaining Lancers put up a white flag. Deneys Reitz, a younger commando member, encountered Captain Victor Sandeman, the Lancers' commander, and Vivian, who was his lieutenant, among the wounded.

In his book Commando, Deneys Reitz, one of the Boers, recounts how Vivian pointed out his bivouac tent and told him it would be worth his while to take a look at it. Soon, Reitz, who had been wearing a grain-bag and using an old Mauser rifle with only two rounds of ammunition left, was dressed in a cavalry tunic and riding breeches and armed with a Lee-Metford sporting rifle. Reitz reports that he met Lord Vivian again in London in 1935, on excellent terms.

Thomas Pakenham, in his introduction to the 1983 Jonathan Ball edition of Commando, reports a more elaborate story. In this touching account, Vivian overcomes Reitz's reluctance to take Vivian's possessions, and presents Reitz's original rifle to him in London in 1943. As Vivian died in 1940 this is impossible.

Family life

On 1 August 1903 Vivian married Barbara Cicely Fanning. They had a daughter, Daphne Winifred Louise who was born on 11 Jul 1904 and a son, Anthony Crespigny Claude Vivian, 5th Baron Vivian, born on 4 March 1906. They divorced in 1907. The co-respondent was Alfred Curphey. He then married Nancy Lycett Green (died 6 May 1970) on 5 January 1911. A daughter, Ursula Vanda Maud, was born on 16 June 1912 and a son, Douglas David Edward, on 16 January 1915.

Among his medals were the DSO, the Legion of Honour, and the Croix de Guerre. He was appointed aide-de-camp to King Albert I of Belgium. He was also awarded the Ordre de Leopold avec Palme, Officier.

He died on 28 December 1940, aged 62.

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George Crespigny Brabazon Vivian, 4th Baron Vivian's Timeline

January 21, 1878
July 11, 1904
Age 26
March 4, 1906
Age 28
July 16, 1912
Age 34
Age 36
Age 61